I need some advice on what I should do

  1. Hi, I'm new to this discussion group and I could really use some guidance. I am the first person in my family to pursue medicine, so I am kind of on my own in regards to figuring out what to do exactly. I just entered 10th grade of High School and I have my heart set on becoming at least a Registered Nurse. I've done months of research and I've sort of built my path on the knowledge I've gathered so far, but I would love to receive advice from medical professionals who've already been down this path. These are my plans, but I want suggestions that would benefit my future and strengthen my chances to becoming a successful RN:

    As soon as I turn 16, I'm definitely joining the volunteer program at my hospital. It's a foot in the door and I would love to interact with nurses and learn from them. I also realized that volunteering in a hospital can help me a lot when it comes to getting a job out of nursing school. I have also been looking into CNA classes for High School students, and If I can, I want to become one when I'm 17 (which is the age requirement for CNA's in Florida). I want to become a CNA to get my hands dirty, and to me, it's not really about the pay as it is gaining experience. I am focused on taking courses that will benefit me in college like AP biology, human anatomy and physiology, nutrition, statistics, psychology, etc. I am maintaining a 3.8+ GPA and I want to earn scholarships and grants that will hopefully pay for all or most of my tuition. However, if I can't become a CNA in high school, then right out of school, I will attend technical school and become one, then immediately begin college to fulfill my prerequisite classes to getting into nursing school. So can my AP courses in High School apply to my prerequisite courses for college and save me time? I know getting into nursing school is very tough, and this is the part that's kinda confusing to me. I'm not exactly sure what to do here. When I'm finished with my prerequisite courses, then do I apply to nursing school or do I have to wait? (not including the waiting list time). In general, how long am I really gonna be in college for? I read that by 2020, most nurses will require a BSN to practice, and I really planned on earning my ASN just to quickly enter the nursing field and then continuing my education to a BSN. But I was always curious if I went straight for the BSN program, and I reached the half way mark when I receive my ASN, could I still sit down to become an RN, or can I only sit down for the exam and become one after I complete the entire program? I realized that if I cannot become a Registered Nurse with an ASN, and the BSN program will only allow me to become one after I graduate, then I'll just work as a CNA until then because I gotta have some sort of a job by then.

    I have been searching the specialities in nursing and I think I know what I want to do in my heart, but I can't make a final decision because I don't have experience in that unit/speciality. I don't want to get bored doing the same thing, I want to experience something new everyday and I realized that I'm not disturbed/disgusted by graphic injuries and diseases, plus, I love the idea of the thrill working in the Trauma/E.R. Unit. And I've done deep digging into these units and their requirements which just draws me in even more. I just want to work in every unit and gain as much skills and experience as possible, and I have looked into float Nursing which I hear both good and bad things about. Also, if you could give me a more specific definition and job description of working in the Meds-Surgical Unit. Is it specializing in both the operating room and recovery room for patients?

    Thank you for taking the time to help me.
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   meanmaryjean
    What a thoughtful post Jaida! Many years ago, I was the first person in my family to attend college- just like you. I think what would really benefit you is to have a mentor, preferably a nurse. Do you know any nurses in your church, neighborhood- even your school nurse- who could help you navigate this whole college thing?

    Sounds like you are a serious student and will do well. I do want to correct the "BSN by 2020" thing. It is not a requirement- and ADN will still let you take the NCLEX and become an RN. The 2020 thing is a recommendation- and some hospitals preferentially hire BSNs over ADN. You might want to ask around to some local places and see what is true in your area.

    I wish you well.
    Last edit by meanmaryjean on Aug 13
  4. by   Jaida
    Unfortunately I don't really know any nurse, but I'm hoping that when I start volunteering I'll meet a nurse who will take me under their wing. Thank you for clearing the "2020 BSN" thing, I helps me a lot knowing that I'll still be able to become a registered nurse with an ASN.
  5. by   meanmaryjean
    Quote from Jaida
    Unfortunately I don't really know any nurse, but I'm hoping that when I start volunteering I'll meet a nurse who will take me under their wing. Thank you for clearing the "2020 BSN" thing, I helps me a lot knowing that I'll still be able to become a registered nurse with an ASN.
    Great idea about volunteering! You might also run into students and instructors during your volunteer time.
  6. by   raindrops1234
    Hey! Volunteering sounds like an awesome idea! As previous posters said, you will have the chance to develop relationships with nurses which in turn can become a mentor. Not to mention experience interacting with patients which is a skill in itself.

    I was also in a similar situation whereas I was the first in my family (immediate and extended) to attend university. I was lucky enough to have a career counsellor in my high school who helped to to navigate which university I selected, how to apply, and eventually helped me register for my first semester classes. I think you mentioned above about how long you have to wait and what not....but I think it varies program by program. Research the universities that you are more interested in and make sure you are taking the pre-req's you need (if you are going directly into nursing)-although it looks like you are doing great anyways!

    And one last thing, don't be surprised if you happen to change which specialty you would like to work in as you go through school and complete clinicals! There are so many cool things you can do! Good luck!
  7. by   dogmombyday
    Awesome post, I wish I would've realized nursing was for me as early as you seem to have! That's very exciting! The requirements for admission vary a lot by program, but in many of them, like mine, the CNA or STNA course is one of the requirements for the program, which is kind of nice. And as far as the BSN vs ADN thing, I heard that it would be hard to get a job without a bachelors but at least in my area, that wasn't true. I had 5 interviews and accepted a position before I graduated. I'm working in an ICU and I currently "only" have my ADN. Plus, one benefit of doing it this way is that my hospital is going to pay for my BSN when I start next semester. Many hospitals offer tuition programs, they usually want you to sign something agreeing to work there for a certain time after they give you the money br it's worth it to get away from some of the debt! Regardless of which route you take, good luck!

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